Feldman, Do You See Anything?

Bring up the light, the spotlight materializes. Ask the devil how many ways we can edit the truth?

Writing by LE Francis
Art by Featured Artist Erica Peebus

Feldman, do you see anything?

Inspired by “Butterfly Kisses”

Bring up the light, the spotlight materializes. Ask the devil how many ways

we can edit the truth? The unblinking eye of the night, the gaping maw

of the tunnel ahead, I gotta feeling that I’m not the only thing that has risen

from hell tonight. Turn the camera on, create a tension that cannot break,

a live wire between today & tomorrow & when I turn it off, the cord tightens.

& it flickers back on, it’s pulling my heart out of my throat. Ask again. How many

ways can we edit the truth before we lose something of its likeness? The forest

huddles around us, decades rust over the rails, & you can’t convince me hell

itself hasn’t shimmied its ass through some unseen cave, some vent, some crack

in the ground. It’s tapping on your shoulder, waiting to be discovered. Turn

the camera on, the tension is a lightning bolt to the forehead, a crackling arc

between yesterday & an unsure future & when I turn it off, the thing has knotted.

& when it flickers back on, it’s wrung my breath out of my throat. How many ways

can we edit the truth without losing ourselves? As soon as we tell it, warm on our lips,

the truth scatters, grows limbs — raises a middle finger as if to say that we can tell

our stories, we can make mythologies of our flesh, poetry of our blood

but as soon as they are heard, our stories cease to be our own. They live,

they haunt, they curse,they are a thread pulled through many lives,

& they pull us close. & as we’re huddled at the mouth of hell staring down

the devil himself I’ll admit, this is magic — & I can’t stop watching.

About the Author

LE Francis is a writer, artist, & musician making stuff from the rainshadow of the Washington Cascades. She is the fiction editor at Sage Cigarettes Magazine, sagecigarettes.com, & her debut poetry chapbook, “This spell of star & song,” is available through Bottlecap Press.

About the Artist

Erica Peebus (b.1982) recently moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana from Portland, Oregon where she received her BFA with an emphasis in painting in 2013 from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Erica’s acrylic paintings can be described as both dark and whimsical. Employing a strong illustrative quality, she mixes realism with graphic details. Her works often represent plants, animals, bones, and the human figure exposing her fascination with life and death as well as her love for the natural and super natural world. Her work is heavily influenced by religious symbolism, renaissance paintings, mythology, folklore, and surrealism.

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